Did you know that more than two-thirds of Latine/Hispanic households don’t think of their retirement plans? Latine families are so tied up in their day-to-day lives and accustomed to survival mode that they don’t usually pay attention to things like 401(k) plans. Does this sound like you? Pues, you’re not alone.
To bring light to this ongoing and common financial issue, the reality, non-scripted advisory television show “Opportunity Knock$” was created.
The television series’ premise is to aid six different families to financial freedom – and to teach viewers how to do the same. Free financial advice? We’ll take it!
The families were paired with financial experts (Opportunity Coaches) to help them take control of their finances and provide them – and the show’s viewers – with advice, tools, and community resources (including national and local non-profits).
According to the press release, “Opportunity Knock$” is conformed by three Opportunity Coaches: Jean Chatzky, TODAY’s financial editor for 25 years and AARP Financial Ambassador; Louis Barajas, co-founder/CEO of Business Management LAB and International Private Wealth Advisors, a member of CNBC’s Financial Advisory Council and the first Latino to serve as a Director on the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards; and Patrice Washington, “America’s Money Maven” and host of the Redefining Wealth podcast.
To get an inside look at the show’s vision, BELatina News spoke with Patricia Reyes who is part of one of the six families featured in the series.
Here’s what Reyes had to share with us about her experience.
Tell us about your background.
My name is Patricia Reyes, I am a single parent of six children. I was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, raised in Southern California and settled in El Paso, Texas in 2002. In 2014, I began my artistic journey. I am a self-taught artist. Abstract expressionism is my method of creative expression. In 2019, I founded The Isaac Center of Arts and Wellness, with a mission to bring awareness to the healing modalities of art engagement activities.
Did you see a healthy relationship with money while growing up? Do you think this affected your relationship with finances as you grew older?
I did not witness a healthy financial relationship growing up. My parents lived paycheck to paycheck and many times barely made ends meet. I witnessed both my parents stress and struggle raising seven children. I do believe this affected my own relationship with money as an adult.
Do you think there are systemic restrictions that make it harder for people of color, including Latinos/es, to have access to resources regarding finances?
Yes, I do. For one, there are many payday loans, quick money financial institutions within two mile radius of each other. They offer extremely high interest rates – very easy to qualify for, making the problem worse. Easy access with no solutions. Where are the financial institutions with real solutions? That information is key, and would be of great benefit in low income communities.
Now, let’s talk about the show. How was your experience on it?
The show… for me, was not a show: it was an answered prayer, hope and a real solution. My experience was so profound that the tools and knowledge I received will extend to my children and one day to their children. It changed the trajectory of our lives. I am deeply grateful.
How can other members of the Latino community begin to change the way they handle their finances to have more stability?
The Latino community can change the way they handle their finances and gain stability by talking about it, asking for help when needed. Sharing what is effective and teaching young people about credit and credit scores.
What are some financial resources other Latinos should tap into?
Some financial resources Latinos can tap into are CDFIs, small business grants, and financial mentorship offered at no cost, like SCORE.
Anything else you’d like to share with the BELatina News audience?
Yes, our well-being includes Financial Freedom. Make it a part of your empowerment, growth and healing. Never give up hope. And of course, Opportunity Finder has many resources and is currently available.
“Opportunity Knock$” is available through PBS. Check out their website for more information on how to view the series.